What is a wrist fracture?
Sometimes known as Colles’ fracture or a distal radius fracture, a broken wrist is a common condition that occurs in the larger bone of the forearm, near the wrist joint. Depending on the severity of the break, the fracture itself may affect only the forearm or extend all the way into the wrist joint itself. Often, fractures like these occur in patients who suffer from weakened bones due to osteoporosis.
What are the causes?
Fractures are most commonly caused by one of the following:
- Weakened bones due to osteoporosis
- Falling onto the outstretched arm/wrist
- Being hit on the wrist
What are the symptoms?
It is important to visit an orthopedic specialist at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Wrist pain, especially when flexing
- Wrist deformity or unusual bending
How is it diagnosed?
At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, our physicians have years of experience diagnosing a wide range of arm and wrist injuries. Your initial exam will likely involve the following:
- Medical history evaluation – One of our physicians will ask you about past relevant medical problems and your wrist pain.
- Physical exam – This may include asking questions about your wrist pain level and examining the injured wrist.
- Imaging tests – Usually, when a fracture is suspected, we will use diagnostic image testing to evaluate the location and severity of the fracture.
How is a fracture treated?
Often, a broken wrist can be repaired using conservative treatments, including:
- Pain and anti-inflammatory medication
- Physical therapy
If your injury has caused your bones to shift out of place or break through the skin, you may need surgery to restore the proper alignment and full function of your wrist. During surgery, your orthopedic surgeon may use wires, screws, or plates to secure your bones back in the correct position. MedStar Orthopaedic Institute offers advanced surgical options to treat your broken wrist, including:
If you believe you may be suffering from a fractured wrist, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating injuries and are pleased to offer comprehensive wrist and hand care in the Washington, D.C. area.